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Residency FAQs

Letters of Recommendation (LoRs)

Q: How many LOR's do I need?

According to ERAS, you can have unlimited LoRs, but you can only assign and send up to four (4) letters to each residency program.

The following is from Tips on Letters of Reference from the AAFP.

Number of Letters

  • Most residency programs request three letters of reference. Sometimes they specify certain departments or rotations from which the letters should originate.
  • Be sure to follow directions from the program brochure. For example, some programs will require letters from particular departments; others require letters from attendings rather than residents. Occasionally, a letter from a person not involved in the profession of medicine will be requested.
  • Do not send more letters than requested unless you have one that is especially dazzling. Some selection committees suspect "the thicker the application, the thicker the student." Some programs review only the first letters to arrive up to the number they request, and subsequent letters are ignored.

Q: How do I request a LoR?

ERAS Letter of Recommendation Portal:

Q: Should a medical student waive his/her right to see the LoR?

Many medical schools recommend waiving your right to view the LoR for two reasons:

1. This makes your letter confidential and the letter is then considered more strongly by residency programs.

2. Many program directors see a student's decision not to waive their right to see a letter as a red flag.

Q: Is the NBOME ID the same as AOA ID?


Q: Who should I contact for a lost AOA Member Number?

Contact the AOA Member Service Center at [email protected] or (800) 621-1773 during business hours or [email protected] after hours. Login help is available from the AOA website at

Q: Is there a place online where we can see if the LORs have been received or not?

The LoR's will be uploaded to ERAS after you register. You will assign your LoRs and track them through ERAS.

Q: If we have more than three physicians that we want to get letters from but want to have certain letters sent to certain programs, how do we navigate that? Does every letter we have written have to be presented to each program?

You will be registering with the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). In ERAS, you will designate which LoR you want to go to a particular program. You can have an unlimited number of LoRs; however, normally no more than four (4) letters may be assigned to any individual program.

Q: What should I do if I requested a LoR and after several months of follow-up emails to the letter writer the LoR still has not been uploaded to ERAS?

The residency programs for which you will be applying to through ERAS will have application deadlines for ERAS supporting documents like Letters of Recommendation (LoRs). Residency programs can start downloading your application and supporting documents (like LoRs) on September 15th. So, you may want to relay this information to your letter writers. If your letter writer is having trouble meeting your deadline, you may want to consider asking someone else who meets your program's requirements and deadlines, and can write you a strong LoR.

Q: I've made my LoR slots in ERAS, but it doesn't show that they have been attached.

Make sure you clicked "Submit Request" or "Finalize." This simply finalizes the LoR slots for use. You can add additional LoRs at any time. You will be able to track LoRs and all of your supporting documents in ERAS.

Q: Do I have to wait until all of my LoRs are in to apply to programs?

No, you may apply to programs before all of your supporting documents are in. Once attached to your ERAS, the programs you have applied to will have access to the documents as well. You want your ERAS application as complete as possible prior to submission.


Q: Can I have the same letter writer write 2 different letters for different programs? How do I designate that in ERAS?

You will need to make a slot for each letter. Make sure you use the Specialty Field. See the MyERAS User Guide for further instructions.

Q: What are the ERAS deadlines?

ERAS does not have deadlines, individual residency programs do. You must meet the deadlines of the residency programs and the Matches (NRMP, and Military).

Q: Should I request specialty-specific LoRs?

You should review the LoR requirements of the programs in which you are applying. Generally, the more competitive specialties will want specialty-specific LoRs. Many emergency medicine programs require a specialized form called the standardized LoR (SLOR). It is also advisable to request a few general LoRs in case you change your mind regarding specialty or you find yourself scrambling for a different specialty or internship year.

LMU-DCOM Transcript

Q: How do I request my medical school transcript?

ERAS Medical School Transcript Request Form

COMLEX and USMLE Transcripts

Q: How do I request my COMLEX and USMLE Transcripts?

Please refer to the MyERAS User Guide available at the ERAS website.

ERAS Photographs

Q: How do I upload a photo to ERAS?

Please refer to the MyERAS User Guide. You will be given your second-year composite photo.

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)/Dean's Letter of Evaluation

Q: What is included in the Dean's Letter? Are USMLE and COMLEX scores included? Can we see the letter before it is sent out?

The MSPE describes, in sequential manner, a student's performance, as compared to that of his/hers peers through three full years of medical school and possibly part of the fourth year. USMLE and COMLEX scores are not included in the MSPE since they are separate supporting documents for ERAS. Students are required to review their MSPE for accuracy and to authorize its release. You will be contacted by email when your MSPE is ready for review. For more information on the MSPE please see the AAMC Guidelines or contact the office of the Department of Career Services. Review can be done by phone.

Q: I am away on rotations and can't come back to campus to review my MSPE. Why can't it be emailed to me?

To maintain the integrity of the MSPE, it cannot be emailed, mailed or faxed to students for review and may not leave the office of the Career Services. No exceptions will be made to this policy. The MSPE is uploaded directly to ERAS by October 1st and/or sent directly to residency programs upon student request.

The Match

Q: How does the Match process work?

NRMP website explain the process, give examples, have directions for registration, and FAQs.